Thanks to Paramount Pictures, the Belgian ambassador in Australia and my friend Nathalie Surmont, I had the privilege of seeing Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin one day before its American release. Spielberg got me into movies – and he keeps exciting me.
I was extremely skeptical… I don’t like 3D much, I didn’t like the visual style from the photos. But Spielberg has done this in the very best way possible and it works a treat.
From the fairly long opening credits (which has become rare, but it’s here for a reason), he slowly introduces us to this visual style via a 2D/3D world.
Then, the world of the movie opens and he rakes in all the fans with a great tribute to Hergé. The tone is set – and it’s fun, full of laughs and the best plot ever.
Of course we know most of this plot already but it doesn’t matter because he’s adapted it with so much verve and spectacle.
Structurally this is a flawless adaptation. With all the storylines of the books used in this film, it could have easily ended in a mess. Film structure is quite specific and so many adaptations from comic books and graphic novels have failed to excite a large audience lately. I loved the pace of the film so much I will probably post a structural analysis of it some time soon.
What about character? Well… We all know Tintin doesn’t really have much to play with. He’s a blank canvas, so you can replace it with … you. The only dynamic character in the movie is Captain Haddock for his relation with the booze.
Hergé has never been into deep character. In his world there was plain good and bad. I don’t like this much, but for this film it doesn’t matter: it’s an adventure fantasy and it works on that level.
Oh – and Gromit: move over. Here’s Snowy! Instantly my favorite movie dog. Yes, he has creepy eyes but it’s the actions that matter, not the looks.
Thank you, Spielberg.
– Karel Segers
Karel Segers is a producer and script consultant who started in movies as a rights buyer for Europe’s largest pay TV group Canal+. Back then it was handy to speak 5 languages. Less so today in Australia. Karel teaches, consults and lectures on screenwriting and the principles of storytelling to his 5-year old son Baxter and anyone who listens. He is also the boss of this blog.
Karel Segers wrote his first produced screenplay at age 17. Today he is a story analyst with experience in acquisition, development and production. He has trained students worldwide, and worked with half a dozen Academy Award nominees. Karel speaks more European languages than you have fingers on your left hand, which he is still trying to find a use for in his hometown of Sydney, Australia. The languages, not the fingers.